Christian Long

Seth Godin: Standing Out

In TED Talks on April 16, 2010 at 10:31 am

Extra credit reflection by HAGEN F.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Seth Godin: Standing Out

This video is both comical and quite interesting, and for anyone who enjoys either of those topics, watch this.

In the start of this video, Godin talks about how sliced bread had no real significance until Wonder undertook its advertisement. Godin says that if you have an idea, you have to tell it to the people that actually want to hear it. They in turn will tell their friends and then your idea will grow. People are your best advertisement because they will spread ideas faster than any billboard. Nowadays, too many people are marketing to people that do not care about the product they are hearing about. A high school student would not want to hear about a product that makes buying a house easier. Some companies make an attempt to promote their ideas to the right crowd. If you watch three different television channels, you can see different genres of commercials on each channel. If you were to take Nickelodeon or Cartoon Network, the commercials on these two channels would appeal to kids. On other channels like ESPN, there are more commercials focused at the men of society because that is the main demographic that watches sports.

If a company focuses on the main consumer of the object that they have to offer then they have a better chance to sell their product. Selling, whether it is an actual product or an idea, depends on whether or not you can spread your idea. If you can not ‘sell’ your idea, then no one will ‘buy’ it. If no one will buy your object then your idea will fade into oblivion. You have to play to the right group to be hear, and if your idea is remarkable than it will be appealing to more people. The more remarkable an idea or object, the more people will focus on it and want to see it or obtain it. If you can get an idea to be remarkable it spreads quickly and attracts attention.

What can we do to be remarkable or stand out?

WE have to introduce an idea that no one has ever heard, or better improve an older idea. There is a well known saying that goes, “You can’t reinvent the wheel,” so why should we? No one would want to start another company like Gatorade or Powerade because it would not stand out. There are already two companies focused on similar products, so why would you want to create another company like those. There is some necessity to create a similar company to encourage competition because if there was only one company focused on television sets, then that company could continually drive the price up, and we would still have to buy from them. Competition does not allow for this because each company would want to sell more of their product and would keep the price lower to encourage people to buy their product more. Yet, if they do not introduce anything remarkable, then people will start to lose interest in their company. Powerade had released a lower calorie energy drink not too long ago, and as often as companies produce items that are low on calories, it was remarkable when talking about energy drinks. Powerade appealed to a group that most companies have begun to focus on. This allowed more people to buy their product until Gatorade counters.

Godin, at the end of his video, tells of how a city in the middle of nowhere wants to build a giant lava lamp to attract people to their city.

If built this, I am pretty sure that more people would visit just to see the giant lava lamp. It is an idea that is remarkable, and people will want to see it. Nowhere else (to my knowledge) has a huge lava lamp in their city, and people will travel from all around to see this remarkable building. This lava lamp will bring more people into their city and increase the revenue of shops in the area, but alas not all remarkable things last. By and by, more remarkable things will become ordinary. Computers are not seen as amazing objects anymore because they are used daily in our society. If more and more of the remarkable object are produced then it will lose its ‘shine.’

Godin is a business and marketing expert and his ideas have to be employed in our most basic environments. TED, itself, I remarkable and attracts thousands and thousands of people to both talk about ideas and hear these ideas. Standing out is important, and it is one of many things that our teachers and parents are telling us frequently. If we do not stand out, then no one notices us and then what is our function? What necessity is there for people or ideas that do not stand out? Those that do not are forgotten, but those that do stand out and achieve the ‘remarkable’ status are remembered.

There are hardly any people in the United States, or even Texas, that know about our school, but we are trying to stand out. We are showing that we can be extraordinary, and the things that we do can be noticed.

  1. Thanks for the great summary of Godin’s talk!

    “We are showing that we can be extraordinary, and the things that we do can be noticed.”

    I think this project and particularly your own student talks (will) show that you are extraordinary and be noticed!

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